2020

Waiting for inspiration to find me again.
Resting, reflecting and working until it does.

Went home to see my family and to do a once-in-a-lifetime experiment with them that I thought represented our best possible path forward as a family. The attempt was dead on arrival but I pulled all the stops trying.

Realized the feeling that had guided me through the past year had a big hole in it now. Tried to make sense of that and its consequences. Understood what quarantine felt like for the first time.

Left my team to continue searching for Siempre alone.

Second work-related existential crisis in response to crazy organic growth, huge public demand and imperfectly-aligned priorities across the team and our users

Craziest couple weeks of my life

Decided to launch Online Town

Figured out how to decide
"whether or not to launch Online Town".

Tried to make sense of COVID-19, figuring out how we could help independently of work and also in relation to our work and the futures it might make easier or harder

Developed a virtual version of ourselves and our home office

2019

Started to feel Siempre for the first time

Skipped YC Demo Day to preserve focus and protect against systemic misalignemnt of interests

Moved to San Bruno with Phillip and Kumail to go through Y Combinator's summer program

Started working on Siempre

Worked on an advanced haptics system under Ralph Hollis. There's nothing else like it in the world.

Photo of Cyrus in the research lab where he worked on haptics

Hacked together a holographic video chat with Phillip and Kumail for HackLodge Pittsburgh. We used a Looking Glass display, an Intel D435 RealSense Camera, Unity and ZStandard compression. (Video on Twitter)

Photo of the holographic display showing a 3D view of its creators, Phillip, Kumail and Cyrus

Summer 2018

Reflected on decision-making and unknown unknowns. Still haven't recovered.

2017-18

Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a minor in Robotics. I left the robotics additional-major program early to start the fifth-year research-based robotics masters.

Organized Build18 2018, the largest hardware hackathon ever held at CMU. The completed projects were also substantially higher in quality thanks to the use of CMU's new Maker Wing facility.

Me speaking during the Q&A portion of the Build18 award ceremony
Q&A portion of the Build18 award ceremony.
Photo by Larry Rippel
Photo of all the participants that brought their projects to Demo Day
Photo of Demo Day.
Photo by Larry Rippel

Prototyped a one-dimensional force feedback device for VR using a custom series-elastic actuator and an external tracking system.

The idea was to build a controller that you could use to feel virtual objects. The tracking system consisted of an NVIDIA Jetson TX1, an RGB webcam and an April tag mounted to the frame of the controller. The actuator was made from a stepper motor, torsion spring and two optical encoders. A Unity application received poses from the camera system and angles from the actuator. It modeled interactions with a virtual environment and sent target forces back to the actuator to apply to the user. It worked in the end but the hardware needs lots of improvement. Completed with a team of three for my ECE capstone class.

Photo of our force feedback controller being demoed

Designed a tool to measure the ability of robots to communicate spatial information to human observers.

The system consisted of a pair of robotic eyes, an Intel R200 RealSense RGBD camera and some lasers + mechanical fixtures for measuring the eyes-to-world transform and the world-to-camera transform. Once calibrated, a user is told to place a ball at a sequence of 3D locations that they think the robot is staring at. The camera measures those positions and the computer calculates the 3D error between the measured locations and the positions that the eyes were programmed to look at. This was used to create an error map over the volume in front of the robot and would help future systems determine whether communicating spatial information to a user through gaze is appropriate or not based on a given precision requirement. I came up with the idea for my human-robot interaction class and then implemented most of it over the course of a few days. It wasn't very robust and it was extremely time-consuming to operate but it worked.

Summer 2017

Interned at Magic Leap's Sunnyvale office on the Robotics / Performance & Data team. Found a gap in their headset calibration process and developed a robotic camera system modelled after the human vision system.

2016-17

Did MakeMIT 2017. My team and I prototyped a robotic food delivery system using a Roomba Create 2.0 base and an NVIDIA Jetson. We placed in the Top 10 and won the iRobot Sponsor Prize.

Demoed ClassInsight at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. This was a very early version of what eventually became EduSense

Helped build out the first versions of ClassInsight with my friend Avi. It's a computer-vision application that generates insights for teachers about their behavior in the classroom as well as that of their students. We used a Kinect and Intel NUC for the hardware and built the application with openFrameworks and OpenFace.

Helped run Build18 2017 and built an electronic instrument with haptic feedback. The idea was to use vibrating motors in the gloves to feel a beat or setting before you selected it. We finished the hardware but none of us had enough musical talent to demo it properly.

Photo of my Build18 team with our custom electronic instrument
Photo by Larry Rippel

Summer 2016

Interned for an Apple SPG robotics team in Seattle. This was one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had.

2015-16

Prototyped a VR shopping experience at MHacks 2016. It didn't work.

Did Build18 2016. Failed.

Facebook's Global Hackathon Finals. Did not sleep much that week.

Photo of me at Facebook's Global Hackathon Finals

Invented a haptic braille display at PennApps XII. My team and I won "Grand Prize: First Place" and "Best Hardware Hack." (This also qualified us for Facebook's Global Hackathon Finals)

Photo of my team with our haptic braille display and the sponsors that presented us with the Grand Prize
My team posing with our haptic braille display

Summer 2015

Interned at Qualcomm's San Diego office on the CoreBSP team. Worked on linker script parsing. I also placed first in the preliminary round of the IdeaQuest intern contest, allowing me to form a team around my vision for a Qualcomm-powered future of 3D-printing and pitch it to executives and engineers. My team then placed in the Top 3 after the second round, qualifying us for the finals.

"Developer of the Month: Cyrus Tabrizi Has a Vision for The Future Using the Dragonboard"

Photo of my IdeaQuest team

2014-15

Taught a class on drone design during the spring semester. My team and I spent the fall semester preparing course content and building our own drones. I led the development of a Lego Technic-compatible one while my friend Adam led the design of the laser-cut model which we ended up using for the class.

A photo of my 3D-printed quadcopter which is fully compatible with Lego Technic parts
A photo of my 3D-printed quadcopter which is fully compatible with Lego Technic parts

Joined the officer board of the CMU Robotics Club

Designed a really over-engineered egg tray for a kitchen-related hackathon I found out about at the last minute. I spent the next ~24 hours until the deadline in CAD but never finished printing it because it wouldn't have fit in my mini-fridge.

Exploded view of my smart egg tray
Exploded view of my smart egg tray

Did PennApps Winter 2015. Helped design a voice assistant that used an actuated body to better express itself.

Did Build18 2015. Attemped to make a calculator with novel interfaces. Failed to complete the project or demo.

Summer 2014

Spent the summer at home working on my 3D-printed 3D-printer.

Photo of me after bringing my 3D-printer to my dorm as a freshman
Photo of me after bringing my 3D-printer to my dorm as a freshman

2013-14

Graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Did research on a new kind of robot drivetrain that uses 3D-printing to combine a leg-based approach with tank treads. Placed 2nd in the "Electricity and Mechanics" category at the TJHSST Science Fair. At the time, this was the most involved 3D-printing project I had taken on and the equipment access and faculty support I had at TJHSST was crucial to my work.

Photo of my six-legged hybrid walking robot
Photo of my six-legged hybrid walking robot
A view of my natural habitat back at home
A view of my natural habitat back at home
Exploded view of the next generation of robot legs
Exploded view of the next generation of robot legs

Last year of VEX Robotics

Summer 2013

Published a thorough Instructables guide to designing my Handuino controller online and it went slightly viral. The guide was featured on the Instructables homepage and also won First Prize in Instructables' Remote Control Contest, Second Prize in Instructables' Arduino Contest and Top 24 in Instructables' Epilog Laser V Challenge

2012-13

Used an assignment for my robotics class to design Handuino, a handheld Arduino remote control. A full description is available on my old website

Photo of the Handuino with a four-wheeled vehicle it can control remotely
Photo of the Handuino with a four-wheeled vehicle it can control remotely

Second year of VEX Robotics

Summer 2012

Designed a 12-pound remote-controlled truck with eight-wheel drive, eight-wheel steering, pnuematic outriggers, adjustable suspension and an 8-to-14 function demultiplexer.A full description is available on my old website

2011-12

Designed a trash-cleaning robot for my Spanish 3 class. Our final assignment was to use the vocabulary we had just learned to describe an idea related to the environment. I had been thinking about the Great Garbage Patch and whether robots could be used to help clean it up. Then I realized that the two weekends I had before the presentation was enough time to build a small one out of Lego Technic and recycled plastic bottles.

Met my future best friends and started doing VEX Robotics competitively with them.

Started freshman year at TJ and it was better than a dream.

2008-2010

Found out TJHSST existed for the first time. Decided to apply.

Did robotics through our chapter of the Technology Students Association. Found a teacher who embraced me in the process.

Went so over the top for one of my final projects that my teacher thought I was plagiarizing. I felt angry for having been accused when I felt I should have been embraced and felt sad that the bar was being set so low that that was the system's response to high achievement.

Did Taekwondo and Jiu-Jitsu briefly.

Drew pictures of my friends' houses for them.

Missed having recess. Something else felt off too.

Attended Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston, Virginia.

2004-2008

Played soccer on a local team with some friends from school.

Went to Forest Edge Elementary's GT program for 3rd-6th grade. Ran a lot playing tag outside. Loved my teachers. Was smiling constantly. Really satisfied.

Played a lot of flash games on Lego.com. World Builder. Spybotics. Lego Racers. Junkbot.

Moved to Herndon, Virginia.

Spent 2nd grade at Armstrong Elementary. Put my chair away at the end of class in exchange for jelly beans. Played four square outside and was a magician at the talent show.

Played Frogger 1997 on PC

My dad took my brother and I to the theater to watch Treasure Planet. It was so good.

Went to Rolling Ridge Elementary for 1st grade. I think I played Sonic on a Sega Genesis at school when I was waiting to go home. Did the spelling bee.

1999

My favorite movie came out but I didn't know it yet.

Moved to Sterling, Virginia.

1997

My lovely brother was born.

Went to my first movie in the theater.

1995

Born in San Diego with love.